Health, Medical

Why Should You Consider A Second Career In Nursing?

Nurse being hired

In the past, many people chose a career and stayed with it throughout their lifetime. These days, however, many individuals are allowing themselves the flexibility to follow their interests and are enjoying the satisfaction that comes from finding a career that is personally rewarding.

If you struggle to find regular work in your initial career field or you find that it is not as satisfying as you thought, switching career tracks is worth considering. One popular field for many people who are changing careers is nursing. Here is a look at the benefits of a nursing career and the diverse work environments available for nurses.

Nursing as a second career

Here are the top reasons nursing is an excellent choice for a second career.

Job flexibility

One of the most attractive elements of a career in nursing is the job flexibility it provides. For example, it allows you to work in shifts, making it perfect for those with family-oriented lifestyles.

The typical work schedule of nurses in a hospital involves 12-hour shifts, three days a week. Many nurses choose to work part-time, on an as-needed basis, or on weekends.

Comparing this to other job opportunities, where people work eight hours a day for five days a week, a nurse’s schedule provides greater flexibility. Longer working hours mean more days off.

Therefore, if you are a parent or caregiver, the flexibility provided by a nursing job can give you enough time to attend to your personal life while enjoying a lucrative career.

Training programs and qualifications

The nursing field is now more diverse than ever. In addition to working in a hospital or medical facility, there are jobs for nurses outside the hospital setting. Training programs are available at such institutions as Elmhurst University for those roles, with completion of a program being rewarded with a recognized qualification. Many of the courses are available as online nursing programs. In this article, we will look at the diverse careers and work environments available for nurses.

Unlike many other top professional careers, you do not need to spend six years in college earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree to get an entry-level job in nursing.

In fact, you can start working as a registered nurse with only an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). According to The New York Times, most employers now want registered nurses to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). Nevertheless, you can enter the nursing workforce as soon as you earn your ADN. There are plenty of available jobs for registered nurses without a BSN.

Some employers who need registered nurses with a BSN will still hire an ADN-educated nurse if they are willing to commit to earning a higher degree within a particular time frame.

Nurses are in high demand

There is a growing demand for registered nurses to fill a severe national shortage in the US. Every year, thousands of nurses retire, and more new registered nurses are needed to replace them.

According to BLS statistics, 203,200 employment opportunities for registered nurses (RNs) are projected annually. In addition, the number of US citizens aged 65 and older is projected to almost double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060.

Seven out of 10 new jobs expected in the US over the next decade are in social assistance, nursing, and healthcare.

Versatility and professional growth

Another reason to choose nursing as a second career is the amount of versatility it provides. Nurses can find career opportunities beyond doctors’ offices, operating rooms, and hospital emergency rooms.

As a registered nurse, you can administer vaccines, perform phone triage, manage busy medical offices, and coach patients through psychological and physical rehabilitation.

You also have ample opportunities to advance your career with further education by becoming a nurse administrator, an advanced practice registered nurse (APRNs), an independent entrepreneur, a Ph.D. researcher, or an educator.

There is no limit to how much a registered nurse can grow their career.

Nursing can be financially rewarding

According to the BLS, the mean wage estimate for Registered Nurses in the US is presently around $82,000, and as the demand for nurses grows, the average salary will increase.

Your earnings can grow if you advance your education. For example, a nurse anesthetist is presently earning an average of around $195,000 per year, while a nurse midwife earns around $112,000 per year.

In addition, the shortage of nurses means it is often possible to earn additional pay incentives, including; overtime pay, shift differential, travel nursing perks, a sign-on bonus, and bonus shifts.

Moreover, most institutions offer nurses favorable benefits packages, such as 401K matching incentives, student loan repayment programs, and reasonable medical insurance coverage and rates. The benefits can equate to around 20% of your base salary.

It’s easier to earn a higher degree while working

Many people who venture into nursing must enter the workforce as quickly as possible because they cannot afford to go to school full-time for four years to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. They may also have a family or other commitments.

Therefore, they cannot devote additional years to studying full-time for a master’s degree in nursing. Thankfully, many colleges offer programs that make it easy for working nurses to earn their MSN or doctorate in nursing while working part-time or full-time.

The diverse work environments available for nurses

•   Informatics Nurse

Technology is changing how medical facilities and hospitals offer services to their patients. If you are passionate about technology, working as an informatics nurse may be the perfect role for you.

An informatics nurse assists information technicians in evaluating, setting up, and implementing technology in a hospital or medical facility.

For example, you can work with an IT professional to provide technology that improves the accuracy and safety of tests in hospitals. You can serve as a bridge between the technological and medical sides of nursing.

This job requires a license and an education in nursing. You must also have additional training in informatics or IT.

•   School Nurse

School nursing is a great vocation that allows you to work with children while giving back to your local community.

You can work in elementary schools, high schools, and colleges. As a school nurse, you are the face of medical care in the school where you are employed.

The roles of a school nurse depend on the school district, and they often include giving students preliminary hearing and vision tests, offering care when students are injured or have an illness during school hours, providing initial medical care, and recommending additional treatment from a doctor, and teaching health courses.

To work as a school nurse, you must possess a higher education in nursing and have some experience working in a medical facility or hospital. You must also hold a nursing license issued by the relevant governmental authority.

•   Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses are widely known for their efforts to promote their community’s health. Instead of working with individual patients, you will be evaluating and trying to improve the health of your entire community.

Some of the roles of public health nurses include evaluating data to determine the risk patterns for a particular population, offering medical care to individuals belonging to high-risk groups, and creating campaigns to address possible widespread health issues.

Public health nurses do not work at a hospital or medical facility. Instead, they usually work for non-profit organizations, schools, community clinics, or government entities.

•   Nurse Writer

In this role, you will use your nursing skills, knowledge, and experience to work in content creation. Your exact career path will depend on your goals, interests, and objectives for your writing career.

You may work with journals, magazines, or medical websites, and the roles vary depending on the client or publisher.

The best positions in this field require formal writing skills and a high level of nursing education. However, some nurse writing jobs may focus more on the ability to connect with a particular audience than technical nursing skills.

In most cases, an associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in nursing will qualify you for this role; a nursing license is not always necessary.

•   Home Health Nurse

Home health nurses work with patients in their homes on a one-on-one basis. They attend to people with different conditions, including the elderly, chronically ill, disabled, and those recovering from accidents or surgeries.

These nurses usually take care of their patients’ daily needs by helping with basic hygiene, administering medication, and attending to injuries.

This career opportunity is perfect for a nurse who values autonomy in their work and wants to make meaningful and deep connections with patients. This is because a home health nurse usually works with the same patients over a period of several months or years.

This is also a great career choice if job flexibility is important for you as home health nurses can often choose a schedule that works best for them.

•   Nurse Educator

Working as a nurse educator entails assuming the role of a teacher, tutor, or lecturer. In this role, you will not work in a traditional medical facility or hospital. Instead, you will work in a classroom setting in a high school, college, or other educational institution.

You will collaborate with other educators to ensure that all educational materials are consistent.

The job roles of a nurse educator include working within an education program to establish a curriculum and teaching students.

To get a job as a nurse educator, you must possess higher education in nursing, have had some experience working in a hospital or medical facility, and hold a nursing license issued by a relevant authority.

•   Nurse Researcher

A nurse researcher is another good nursing career option, and it is particularly enjoyable for those who enjoy the scientific aspects of nursing.

Many nurse researchers hold positions in teaching and university hospitals, research organizations, and pharmaceutical companies. However, you can also work as a nurse researcher in a hospital or medical facility.

The roles of a nurse researcher include designing and coordinating scientific studies to keep advancing the nursing field and collecting and analyzing data.

You require adequate organizational and analytical skills to excel as a nurse researcher. You must also have higher education in nursing.

•   Legal Nurse Consultant

A legal nurse consultant assists in building a bridge between the medical and legal worlds. Doctors do not always understand the legal jargon, and lawyers do not usually understand the intricacies of medical terminology. Therefore, a legal nurse consultant works as a bridge to help clear up any misunderstandings that could lead to medical or legal complications.

You can find employment as a legal nurse consultant with an organization or a law firm, or you might choose to work on a freelance basis.

This job requires a degree in nursing and a nursing license. You must also be a certified legal nurse consultant through governmental organizations such as the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC).


If you are looking to change your career, nursing is a rewarding field with numerous job opportunities that allow you to support your family while making valuable contributions to your community.

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